5 Tips for Downsizing and Decluttering
Spark a new joy in your life by clearing out the clutter to prepare for downsizing. If you haven't seen or heard about Marie Kondo's KonMarie method about tidying up and decluttering your home, do yourself a favor and check it out! Whether lent is your thing or not, this might just be the best time to take on the "40 bags in 40 days" challenge! Get a jump start on your spring cleaning and remember the key to downsizing is to purge your life of the things you don’t need without getting rid of the things you do need.
1. Hone in on the benefits
When you begin the process of decluttering and downsizing, you should constantly remind yourself of the freedom this will actually bring you. You won’t have an excess in physical things weighing you down or taking up valuable space - both in your home and mentally in your mind.
Don't focus on what you're losing. Look at what you're gaining. Downsizing can equal a lower mortgage or rent per month, freeing up your budget for things like traveling and other experiences.
2. Focus on your needs, not wants
This is a tough one but when deciding to downsize, you need to focus on the things that are absolutely essential.
Follow the one year rule. If you haven’t used something in over a year, chances are you’re not going to use it this year either.
Begin by sorting your items by category, not location. Go through clothing, appliances, shoes, books and then focus on sentimental items last.
3. Does it spark joy?
Marie Kondo’s catchphrase is “does it spark joy?” The idea behind this concept is that if an item doesn’t bring you joy, you shouldn’t hold on to it.
Focus on the easy items to get rid of first and then work your way up to the items you’ve been hoarding. While our possessions can act as an extension of ourselves, sometimes we hold on to items we haven’t used in years leading to clutter.
4. Utilize creative yet effective storage options
Challenge your creativity with different storage configurations in order to maximize your living space. Think hide-away bins underneath your bed (if it’s too low, considering buying risers!), storage benches in entryways, closet shelves, and shoe racks, and storage ottomans.
5. Everything should have its place
“Everyone has a place in their house for forks. If you found a random fork in the bathroom or under the couch, you’d immediately know it didn’t belong there and would return it to its drawer without another thought. Everything in your life should be this easy to put away. If an item occupies no specific location when not in use, it becomes clutter.”
- Steve McClatchy, author of Decide: Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress, and Lead By Example